SC has some pretty good commentators, too. I don't know how understandable it is to someone entirely unfamiliar with the game, but the good ones tend to do a good job of explaining what's going on and why it's important.
It really kind of makes me disappointed in sports coverage, when I have occasion to turn on the TV and catch some of it. I've been spoiled by folks like Day9 and Apollo and TotalBiscuit proving interesting, insightful commentary, so when I watch football and just see "Oh hey, here are some, uh, stats and numbers and crap. See, this guy who's throwing the ball now throws the ball fairly well generally I guess, and uh, his team is down a bit, but there's the other games where they've been down this far and come back to win. To accomplish that, what the team really needs to do is pull it together and score a bunch of points, and prevent the other team from doing the same."
It doesn't add anything to the game, and just results in me slowly getting frustrated and wishing someone would offer me some non-bullshit information. That play they're doing there! Why is it good, what are its particular risks, how is the other team set up to deal with it, etc etc: in short, why is this supposed to be compelling to me, and not just a bunch of people flailing around with a pigskin and falling over each other?
And it's not just about the nature of the games, because I get the same lackluster impression whenever I try to watch the generic MLG casters doing their thing.
[Edit: FOR EXAMPLE: Player A builds a Banshee, flies it at his opponents base.
Good Commentary: "This banshee seems like a good/bad decision, it's timed fairly well/rather poorly, has the potential to do a reasonable amount of economic damage and keep Player B pinned back in their base for the next minute or so, giving Player A an opportunity to safely etc etc etc."
Bad Commentary: *A pop-up on the screen displays the combat stats of a Banshee.* "So Player A has built a Banshee, that's a pretty powerful unit, Bob, as you can see it does 12 damage each with two attacks: a very powerful unit, but flimsy." "That's right, Ron. Lets see how much stuff it kills, and if it'll pay off for Player A."
"Oh, as we can see here, Player A has used the banshee in six of their last ten tournament games, and won four of those. So it seems to be a vaguely optimal choice, Bob." "Yes it is, Ron, but one of the losses was against Player B." ]
. . .
Also, to quibble, I dunno if I'd call football strategic. It's definitely tactical, but the game state mostly resets after each down, so -- at least as far as I understand it -- in-game decision making doesn't do a lot of changing from play to play to play, and neither team can plan ahead to any degree. The strategic element would instead be the teambuilding, which is why fans of the sport pay such attention to the players and their stats and why Fantasy Football is a thing.
Baseball is even more like this, being practically an RPG. And I think that's where fans get a lot of their narrative from: from the players and the teams' performance throughout the season, of which each individual game is a component. The game itself often isn't very interesting if you don't have that larger structure to provide context to its events.
Last edited by Noc
on Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:02 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Have you given up?